Signs your relationship is drifting into a parental or sibling dynamic
As relationships become established and move into the category of being ‘long term’ we all justifiably become comfortable. That’s the goal, right? We want to feel safe to be ourselves with the person who is our partner in life. So, it is also reasonable that our relationships fall into routine patterns together. Those patterns can feel comfortable which is great. But in some situations, this causes us to inadvertently lose intimacy, healthy communication and respect, and the connection that a healthy relationship requires. Are you concerned that your relationship has fallen into a parental or sibling dynamic? Let’s look at the indicators that this could be happening to you.
Is it the parental dynamic?
- One partner tends to be the decision maker. They are the one who steers the ship and sometimes can do that through communication that nags, prods, controls, dictates or scolds.
- You are the planner and organizer of your partner’s life. Does one of you feel the need to repeatedly remind your partner of an appointment? Do you tend to schedule your partners medical appointments?
- A partner has committed to changing the other partner to help them be better. You may have the sense that you can help them to lose weight, control their anger, and be more financially responsible. You have emotional ownership of this change need.
- Your relationship has turned into competitiveness, one-up-manship, and bickering you tend to not share as much in common as you formerly did.
Is it the sibling dynamic?
- Your partner leans entirely on you for their emotional support and needs. You are possibly their only friend who they share anything with.
- One partner may need to use strategies of bribes, convincing, or chastising to obtain follow through by the other for needs in the home or the joint responsibilities of the relationship.
- It feels as if without you, your partner would not be able to maintain their own independence or autonomy to keep their lives in order and be successful.
- Feelings of resentment and exhaustion are experienced due to the burden of the relationship. You no longer feel a balance of responsibilities or needs are being met.
We all deserve to have fulfilling, satisfying relationships that allow us to be the best version of ourselves. Not just noticing these unhealthy patterns but working on changing them is important to achieve the goal of have an emotionally connected dynamic that helps you both to thrive. You both deserve this, and we are happy to help you work towards achieving this goal! Visit our therapists page to further address this concern with a qualified clinician.